Many years ago, long before the advent of Food Network and its heroes such as Rachel Ray, among other cooking talents, cooking shows were mostly relegated to PBS and perhaps a few local television stations. Moreover, this older style of cooking shows before Food Network took over the market taught about fancier cooking and oftentimes, cooking that would take far longer and require more effort than our busy schedules often allow. With the arrival and great popularity of the Food Network, headed by the down-to-earth chef Rachel Ray on her self-titled show, cooking has become something that can be perfectly quick and easy while at the same time retains the degree of quality and cooking creativity offered by the Julia Childs type show.
What this article is suggesting then is that shows on Food Network like the Rachel Ray show, among a few others, is showing in a fun and lively way that cooking healthy and interesting foods does not have to take all day and more importantly, as Rachel Ray makes clear on her shows through example, that good food can be easy and the preparations for it do not require a grand master chef. Other shows aside from the Rachel Ray show do demonstrate how easy cooking can be for the average person but for some reason, Rachel Ray is among the best on the Food Network (or on any other cooking show I’ve seen elsewhere) simply because of her ease in transforming the way we think about cooking for ourselves and our families.
For those who are not familiar with the Rachel Ray show and do not like to (or are afraid to) cook, this is a great introduction to food in general. One of the things I like about the Rachel Ray show along the lines of introducing cooking to people who don’t is that she doesn’t introduce a lot of strange ingredients or food items you have to go to a specialty store to acquire. This also means that on her show, Rachel Ray does not have to spend a long time explaining the basics of any strange, unusual, or hard to find foods and can instead get straight to the cooking.
It seems like aside from the Rachel Ray show and a few other programs on the Food Network, too much emphasis is put on the preparation and not enough about the easy everyman art of cooking itself. As a result, I think a lot of viewers are bored by these shows and immediately discount the recipes from Food Network shows as too difficult to manage and they don’t even try. This is a real shame and hopefully, the even wider popularity of Rachel Ray and her simple cooking show that is firmly rooted in reality will help people learn to cook.
One of the only limitations to the Rachel Ray show and, for that matters, several other cooking shows like that hosted by the ever-popular Emeril, is that the dishes all seem to have a common theme. She uses a lot of spices and Italian or Cajun ingredients and combinations that might not always appeal to everyone. Rachel Ray has a background in these foods and openly admits her limitations therefore, although the Rachel Ray show is the best cooking show on the Food Network, if you are not a fan of Cajun or Italian (Rachel Ray is part Sicilian) then you might be best served watching other programs. If nothing else, watch the Rachel Ray show a few times and get a feel for her easy cooking style. Even if you don’t learn to cook a fabulous dish, watching her work is inspiring and makes it look easy enough for anyone in the world to do.